Thursday, August 2, 2007

how do i say this without sounding cold hearted?

i never cared too much for my mom. sure, i've always loved her, but like her? not so much. i've always seen her as bland, derivative, a follower, unoriginal, boring. we've never had much in common. it's not that i don't realize i share many of those traits. it's not even that in the past i've regretted the dna she passed on to me. i have my own unique rebellious genetic makeup to deal with all that.

it's not that i ever really disliked her, either. she's never been mean to me or to anyone else that i know of. i wish i could say the same for myself.
it's not my lack of respect that her most obvious talent was shopping. truth be known, when we took her car keys away from her a few years ago someone else had to step up to take her place delivering meals-on-wheels and doing other charitable deeds.
it's not that i don't appreciate her role in raising 4 children, at least three of whom have turned out to be damn good human beans.

so what's your point, rick?

ah. i got lost in my own rambling and almost forgot to tell you. i like my mother now. i'm sorry it took 56 years to get here. i don't know if it's the spiraling bonds of ladder-like genes we have in common that have brought us to this point, or if it is a matter defined more by her state of dementia and my role as caregiver being folded together. it makes no difference. the point is, i like my mother.


2 p.m. - enter her apartment. no one there. go to common room.
"well there you are," we say at the same time. (laughter.)

me: what are you doing here? (she has been avoiding the common room for the 3 weeks she's been in this unit. i think the alzheimer's residents scare the shit out of her.)

mom: i came to find carolyn to take me downstairs for a cigarette, but she's not here today. they say i'm out of cigarettes. alicjia called you to bring some.

me: (checking phone, listening to message sent 60 seconds before.) i'll be right back...

all my life, growing up, mom smoked between 0 and 2 cigs a day. i've never known a lighter, habitual smoker. i bought her 2 packs not 10 days ago. go figure. anything to get out of that room/off the alzheimer's floor. yes, i understand.

2:30 - we go downstairs to sit on the smoking porch.
3:00 - off to sit in the hallway in another part of the building to sit and watch the squirrels and pigeons. on the way there we see a sign with a calendar of events for the non-alz residents. "Tony Bennett's 81st birthday...Frank and Friends...7:00...main dining hall..."

both, in unison: "that sounds interesting." (laughter.)

3:30 - we head to the library/computer room to get more books she won't read and to see if josephine's g'mommy blog has anything new to look at. nope. but we reread the old stuff. no problem. it all seems almost new to mom. it's about her and her family. she loves it.
we scour the intornet for tony bennett stuff. listen to clips...pull up his tour schedule...

me: "look at that! 81 years old and still tourin' like a rock star."

mom: (laughter. genuine laughter.) "81? that's not old." (laughter. genuine, again.)

me: (laughing.) "with that attitude, neither is 84. "

mom: (quirky smile.)

we take 2 books to return unread tomorrow and head back to *prison.* as we pass the main dining hall where she ate and attended events for the past 2 years, but now has to have an escort to get to, which usually means me...

we hear, "mary anne! come in here and get some ice cream. you want some ice cream?"

we sit and visit with addy and eat melted eskimo pies. everyone else has long gone. still, it was like bein' in the garden of eden before the fall. (addy's the greatest. she's the one who slipped a dollar bill into my waistband 2 father's days ago. see first blog entry for that story.)

4:15 - back up to the alzheimer's unit for dinner. hug goodbye. go to ask alecjia if she'll take mom to the tony bennett music thingy downstairs at 7:00.

to our delight she says, yes.

--------------frank and friends---------------

Tony can't be there. his birthday is tomorrow, besides, he's on the road, but this guy and his recorded backup music will be there at 7:00 sharp. hopefully mom will be there, too.

6:45 - it's taken me 2 freakin' hours to get this ramble out. i'm exhausted. maybe i'll go catch the show...nah... probably not, but did i mention? i like my mom.


Kaytie M. Lee said...

Your mother sounds as if she's got a good sense of humor. Interesting how that doesn't necessarily go away, huh? My grandad turns 95 in two week...

cornbread hell said...

95. wow. i hope he's doin' all the good. you should encourage him to grow a ponytail and amass a porn collection.

funny thing is, i think my mom's sense of humor is just now coming out. or maybe i never noticed? either's beautiful.

Kathy NC said...

you are freakin' hilarious. I'm glad you like my blog, too.


cornbread hell said...

you must be the goddess of alzheimer heaven. thank you for commenting.

(he bows.)

Anonymous said...

I am glad that you love and like your Mom. Maybe you decided this late but, it is good, for you and her!

I am going through a tiny bit of what you are. My mother is 84, and needs help to live on her own, but she has family and people with her every day. she also takes many meds and gets confused and cranky, But she still Loves her internet and computer. I think it helps keep her going.I love her and like her dearly. But sometimes
its a little bit difficult to deal with it all.


cornbread hell said...

i decided nothing. maybe i finally grew up?

in any case, i feel fortunate to be with her. fortunate to learn it's not too late to learn to like as well as love her.
lucky as rocks are dumb, to be old enough to appreciate her.

mom is physically healthy. barely on meds. too bad she's beyond doing the internet thing without me, though.

your mom is lucky to have that faculty. luckier still to have you who loves And likes her.

bless you isis.

Denise said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cornbread hell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cornbread hell said...

i'd give a dollar 3 eighty to know who those 2 deleted comments were from and what in the cornbread hell they said.

(email me, you deleter, you)

Lily said...

Well, so did I for a brief moment in time, mine I mean. I think it was the Prozac.

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